Quantity is Better than Quality

Recently Balakov talked about Inspiration and it struck a familiar cord with me. In fact I loved this quote from him:

I’ve found that the more photos I take, even if the ideas don’t work out in the end, get me into the groove of taking photos. ~ Balakov

All this talk abut inspiration and creativity reminded me of this classic passage from Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. Continue reading “Quantity is Better than Quality”

Do the Work

“Standing on the Edge of Everything” by xxSJC

Do the work; this is my daily mantra and it has been extremely effective at keeping my emotions in check and the panic level manageable as hanging the show and the opening reception are looming just around the corner.

No matter what happens next week, or even next month, I feel I have done the work and I have been true to myself. Whether this is enough to win me a broader audience, to launch my work to the next level or to open up unforeseen opportunities, I have no idea. But I would rather know than not know.

To find some inspiration and solace in these stress filled days, I turned to the classic book on the creative process Art & Fear and found this passage:

“In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot – and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.”

I have lived with uncertainty for too long. I want to live on the edge of everything and experience life to its absolute fullest, even if I fall flat on my face.

So here is to being an artist, for going the extra mile, to putting yourself out there until it hurts; for doing the work. Because in the end when you are standing next to your image hanging on the wall, that is all that matter.

~ xxsjc

I wrote a piece earlier on being true to yourself. I have been thinking a lot about that right now as the inevitable comparisons will be made when all our work is hanging side by side. But I feel good about my work only because I know I have been true to my own path, no compromises where made on this particular journey. 

I do apologize the blog has been so “I” centric of late. Hopefully we will get back on track with other topics and other conversations after next week. 

Art vs Money

I found this quote in Art & Fear :

“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money.” ~ Oscar Wilde

It seems that life in the ninteenth century was not so different from life in the twenty-first century.

~ xxsjc

Did you buy your copy of Art & Fear yet?
How many different versions of Unikitty do you have? 

Art & Fear, You Are Not Alone

While you are trying to figure out what European City +Me2 is currently in, I want to distract you with a book recommendation:

 Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orlando.

I read this book many years ago and it was helpful when I hit a few creative rough patches. I thought I would give it a read again and see if it could shed some light on many of the creative concerns I hear mentioned by my friends on Instagram. Ideas like motivation, inspiration, talent and approval to name just a few of the common themes I hear mentioned in one way or another.

After the first page, after just the first paragraph, I wanted to scream out: THIS IS IT! I don’t know how I can express to you how good it feels to read this book. It is like having your favorite, trusted art teacher tell you all your fears and doubts are ok, that we all have them. It is normal.

Since I know you are not convinced, here are a few quotes from the first pages to tantalize you:

”Artmaking involves skills that can be learned. The conventional wisdom here is that while ‘craft’ can be taught, ‘art’ remains a magical gift bestowed only by the gods. Not so.” Art and Fear, page 3.

”Even talent is rarely indistinguishable, over the long run, from perseverance and lots of hard work.” Art and Fear, page 3.

”You learn how to make your work by making your work … art you care about — and lots of it!” Art and Fear, page 6.

Pleas don’t be dissuaded from this book by the word “Art”. It is relevant to anyone who is trying to be creative, no matter if you are a painter, a jeweler, a musician or a writer. The observations in this book are for everyone who wants to be creative. So I beg you, plead with you, to go to your local book store and grab a copy of this work of sheer genius. Trust me.

~ xxsjc

If you have read this book did you find it helpful?
Are there any other books you would like to recommend that helped you with your artistic doubts?